I live in Minnesota and the beginning of winter is starting. I'm trying to get it enough sunlight, I'm kind of thinking that might be the problem. However, now that it's getting into winter the days here are usually overcast and grey most of the time. I've been putting it out for an hour or so each day, but I can't leave it out for much longer because it often drops to like 30 degrees during the day. When it's inside I have it by a large window to get partial sun and we keep the house about a constant 70 degrees. I give my tree water whenever the soil starts to feel just barely damp underneath. But the leaves have started turning a lime green color and then they fall. I'm loosing leaves daily. There are still leaves trying to grow in, but they are a light green.

  • Could you post a picture or two, please? What kind of tree is it? Outdoors or indoors (before it got cold)? And welcome to the site!
    – Stephie
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 7:55
  • 1
    There is really no way to answer this without knowing the species of plant you are talking about. Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 20:34

1 Answer 1


If you mean, by Tea tree, Fukien tea, or Carmona microphylla, this particular one is actually an indoor bonsai. It can be stood outside in a shadyish (dappled shade) spot during the summer if the temperatures get high enough where you are, but should be kept indoors if the temperature outside falls below about 70 deg F.

Indoors, it needs good light, but not direct sunlight during summer in particular, though a little in winter is fine. It likes warm temperatures, around 70 deg F, and does not appreciate draughts, but should not be placed in a window above a heat source (like a radiator) or near any object which produces heat within the home.

I'm afraid your moving it outside for an hour or so daily and then back in won't be helping at all, in fact, its totally detrimental to the plant's health. It needs a settled, warm, bright position, it does not require sun, just bright daylight, should be fed and watered well between spring and early fall, then watered less, but still when required, during late fall and winter, and not fed again until spring. I don't know what your care regime has been regarding feeding, nor how long you've had the plant, but its entirely possible exposure to colder temperatures, and constant transitioning between in and then outdoors, or exposure to sun may have caused the problems you're seeing. More info in the link below


If your bonsai is not this particular variety of tree, then we'll need a photograph or the latin/botanical name to give better advice.

  • Bamboo is right. And generally speaking, once you've brought a tree in for the winter you should keep it there. Moving it in and out is a disturbance and potentially shocking condition for any tree. Trees in nature just don't ordinarily have to deal with 30 degree temperature swings. Even the worst of winter cold fronts won't produce that shocking of s temperature change, though it may feel so. Think about how we gradually prepare out plants to bring outside in the spring time? We do it over days and weeks.
    – Escoce
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 20:11

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